Saturday, 20 September 2014

20 Sep: Saturday morning ride to Cottenham

Julia writes: It was a dull and overcast morning last Saturday, and I did not expect too many people for our leisurely ride to Cottenham. So it was nice to see a few already assembled at Brookside when we arrived there just before 10 am, including Saturday regulars Clive, Phil and Simon G as well as newcomers Jane and Dan, who had been CTC members for a long time but never actually joined the local group before for a ride. We waited a few more minutes in case some more riders would turn up, but nobody else joined us, so the eight of us (including Flo) set off towards the city centre just gone 10 o'clock.

We passed King's College Chapel and then carried on through Senate House Passage and past the Jerwood Library, crossing the river and continuing on towards the Coton footpath.

We only joined it as far as the West Cambridge site, where we turned off to the right to cycle on to JJ Thomson Avenue, across Madingley Road and up to Huntingdon Road via the observatory.

We then carried on to Girton and from there to the busway, which we picked up near Histon and followed it as far as the Rampton turn. There was a distinctly autumnal feel to the ride with thick mist and drizzle in the air, hedgerows full of blackberries, hips and haws and an abundance of conkers strewn over many paths and roads. Our pace was quite gentle, not least to accommodate Clive, who had his electric bike stolen a few years ago and now has to do all the pedalling work himself again.

A short and not too bumpy off-road track took us to Rampton, and we finally arrived at the Community Centre in Cottenham somewhere between 11.00 and 11.30 am.

I have written about this before: This is one of my favourite destinations for our Saturday rides. The coffee is indeed delicious and fresh as advertised on the sign outside the former Methodist Church, and the home baked cakes are very tasty, too. An added bonus, which I appreciate more now than I did in previous years, is the play area in a corner of the light and airy coffee room, stocked with toys, books, building blocks, a doll's house and small chairs and tables for little people to enjoy. So while we tucked into the cakes and scones, Flo dug deep in the toy boxes and had a fabulous time, occasionally returning to our table for a bite of teacake.

Once we had all finished our snacks and drinks, Flo was getting a bit tired and was quite happy to join us, so it wasn't as difficult as I thought it might be to say bye-bye to all the toys and get back into the bike for the way home. We cycled via Landbeach and Waterbeach to the tow path by the Cam, which we followed all the way to Chesterton. Despite it still being misty and grey, it was a beautiful ride along the river.

At the old Penny Ferry pub at the end of the tow path, we stopped briefly to say goodbye before people got on to their own way home from there. We arrived back in Fen Ditton just after 1 pm. I hope that everyone enjoyed the ride, and I look forward to our next ride on 4th October, which will take us to the Teacake cafe in Shepreth (details).

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